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Government under fire for allowing murderers to become citizens

The Home Office is facing heavy criticism after a report found that insufficient checks had allowed convicted murderers to be granted citizenship.

Only 3% of citizenship applications were refused in 2013, down from 9% in 2007 - and, as Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports, the UK's immigration inspector has been highly critical that "no attempt" had been made to check criminal records in applicants' home countries.

Keith Vaz: Citizenship process needs urgent review

Home Affairs Committee Chair Keith Vaz. Credit: PA

The citizenship process needs to be reviewed urgently, Home Affairs Committee Chair Keith Vaz said.

It comes after a report found killers were being granted citizenship in Britain after "virtually no checks" done on their background.

Mr Vaz said the committee would be "seeking answers" from Home Secretary Theresa May on Monday.

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Home Office 'in process' of revoking killer's citizenship

The Home Office are "in the process" of revoking a known killer's citizenship in Britain, a Downing Street spokesman said.

A report revealed the man confessed to stabbing someone to death in his own country but was still allowed to stay.

Asked whether David Cameron was concerned about the case, the Number 10 spokesman added: "It's extremely regrettable that the wrong decision was made in that case.

"The important thing here is that where errors and mistakes have been made, these are identified and changes are made."

India riled by guru's 'eight-hour detention' at Heathrow

A spiritual leader's "eight-hour detention" at Heathrow Airport yesterday is getting extensive coverage in the press of his native India.

Swami Ramdevji, aka Baba Ramdev, in 2010

Swami Ramdevji, also known as Baba Ramdev, had been due to lead 1,500-strong yoga class but was stopped by UK border authorities for reasons that remain unclear.

Zee news cites Mr Ramdevji himself as saying that British border authorities "may have been misguided by the Indian government," and that he believes there was a "red alert" against his name.

India Today reports that a senior Indian politician, who happened to be in London at the time, appealed to the Indian embassy to help resolve the situation.

The Times of India reports that Mr Ramdevji was given no explanation for being stopped.

Inspector: 'Backlog of 40,000' asylum cases in the UK

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, has told Daybreak that the UK has a backlog of around 40,000 asylum cases which need to be addressed.

Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine Credit: Daybreak

He said: "The Police National Computer was used by the [Border] Agency to find people of high harm, but was it wasn't used for was to try and trace and locate these people and that was the whole purpose of the exercise."

He added: "Remember way back in 2006, the then Home Secretary said all this backlog of cases needed to be completed by the summer of 2011, and here we are two years later and we still have a huge backlog of cases."

Information in 'paper files not used to trace applicants'

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has raised concerns over the handling of legacy asylum and migration cases by the former UK Border Agency.

A report found that:

  • There were some cases where the information contained in paper files was not being used to trace applicants
  • Ministers were not informed that the proposed closure criteria used for legacy cases did not include the risks associated with not examining paper files
  • The Agency had not reviewed Police National Computer (PNC) information, to obtain addresses for 3,077 positive matches, or to take action in relation to maybe matches
  • Work had not yet commenced on archived cases and active reviews that had been reopened as a result or positive data matching results

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Inspector: Home Office must prioritise asylum cases

A follow-up investigation, after a report released in November last year, has shown a number of concerns with regards to UK border control.

Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine, who ordered the report, said there were some cases where information contained in paper files was not being used to trace applicants.

He added that work had not yet commenced on archived cases and active reviews that had been reopened as a result or positive data matching results.

I believe the Home Office needs to demonstrate to applicants, Parliament and the public that it has taken all reasonable action to identify whether individuals remain in the UK illegally.

While action had been taken to reopen archived cases following positive data matching results, I was concerned that no work had actually started on them. This was also true of active reviews.

The Home Office will now need to ensure that these cases are afforded priority and publish a realistic and achievable timescale for the completion of all legacy asylum and migration cases.

– John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

Border officials 'failed to pursue 3,000 asylum leads'

UK border officials failed to pursue more than 3,000 leads on missing asylum seekers, an inspector has found.

Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine said no action was taken by the now defunct UK Border Agency (UKBA) to locate positive hits, which were returned when matching asylum seeker details on the Police National Computer (PNC).

UK border officials failed to pursue more than 3,000 leads on missing asylum seekers Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Border staff said a decision was taken not to write to applicants in relation to PNC checks because the information was deemed unreliable.

The inspector added that he was "not provided with any rationale to support this view".

He said that if the PNC checks been followed up, it might have resulted in new information coming to light that would have helped the UKBA to locate individuals.

Govt urged to build 'fair, humane, effective' system

The chief executive of Refugee Council, a charity which works with refugees and asylum seekers, said:

While the political parties continue to argue over who is responsible for the chaos at the UKBA, there is little discussion of the people who have been waiting for months or years for a decision on their cases, with their lives on hold.

We would urge the Government to focus their attentions on building a fair, humane and effective asylum system, with the protection of people fleeing persecution at its centre.

– Refugee Council chief executive Maurice Wren
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